Friday, January 13, 2012

Police bust Northland businesses selling synthetic drugs


Kansas City Police and other law enforcement agencies busted two Northland businesses today for selling synthetic narcotics.

Officers with the Synthetic Drug Task Force served search warrants at Discount Smokes at 2518 NE Vivion Road and the Shell Station at Vivion and Antioch roads. They arrested store employees and recovered synthetic drugs such as “plant food,” “syn,” “K2,” and “bath salts.”

Police recovered approximately 1,100 grams of suspected synthetic drugs, several thousand dollars worth of drug paraphernalia and a loaded firearm. Four people were arrested and face multiple charges for the sale of controlled substances.

“These stores and their management had been warned multiple times,” KCPD Captain Chelly Pfeifer said. “They were presented with letters from the Clay County prosecutor outlining that the substances were illegal.”

Kansas City Police have been investigating the stores targeted in today’s search warrants for as long as 10 months.

Missouri legislators banned synthetic narcotics in August 2010. The drugs have been found to be chemically similar to marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and other illegal substances. They cause significant physical harm and psychosis that can lead to injury or suicide.

The multi-jurisdictional Synthetic Drug Task Force convened in November 2011 to combat the continuing sales of illegal synthetic drugs. The Task Force includes the Kansas City, Gladstone and North Kansas City police departments; Platte and Clay County sheriff’s departments; the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office; and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Captain Chelly Pfeifer is president of the Northland Coalition – an organization dedicated to creating healthy and drug-free communities. The Coalition heard from a woman whose son nearly died from using synthetic drugs and still suffers significant physical problems. Talking to teenagers involved in the Northland Coalition, she learned many knew other teens who used the drugs and knew where to get them.

“I said, ‘We have to do something,’” she said. “… Our kids are getting involved in this stuff. They have the notion if it’s sold in a gas station, it’s OK. It’s ‘herbal.’ But it has devastating effects.”

Sergeant Brad Dumit of KCPD’s Vice Section said he wanted today’s actions against the stores selling the synthetic drugs to convey it will not be tolerated.

“We want to send the message that selling these things is illegal,” he said. “It’s illegal to possess it, distribute it and sell it.”

Capt. Pfeifer said the efforts of the Synthetic Drug Task Force will be ongoing.

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